Irish Catholicism and Science
From "Godless Colleges" to the Celtic Tiger
Publication Year: 2012
Published by: Cork University Press
Title Page, Copyright
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In the nineteenth century advances in the historical and natural sciences demonstrated that some Biblical narratives were not literally true. Geology, for example, undermined literal interpretations of some verses in the first chapter of Genesis...
1. Politics, Religion and Science, 1840s–1874
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In his seminal essay, ‘Irish Thought in Science’, Gordon L. Herries Davies observed that the top tier of the scientific profession in nineteenth-century Ireland was very much the domain of Protestants, despite their minority status. In a survey...
2. Faith and Evolution,1860s–1880s
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A number of authors wrote about biological evolution years before the publication of Charles Darwin’s Origin of Species in 1859. These included Jean Baptiste Lamarck (1744–1829), Robert Chambers and Darwin’s own grandfather...
3. Catholicism and Science, 1890s–1903
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Negative opinions about evolution from a theological perspective would suggest a relationship of conflict between Irish Catholicism and science. However, in this chapter it will be clear that the interaction between scientific...
4. Commissions of Enquiry, 1901–1907
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The setting up of the Royal University had not satisfied Catholic demands for a satisfactory system of university education. On 1 July 1901 the Conservative government of Lord Salisbury (Robert Gascoyne Cecil) established...
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In the late nineteenth century Catholic scholars struggled with a range of exegetical problems arising from the latest findings in archaeology, history and the natural sciences. Modernist initiatives in theology were not unique to the Roman...
6. Evolution, Entropy and Electro-Magnetics, 1920s–1930s
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Nicholas Whyte, in his Science, Colonialism and Ireland (1999), rejected the idea that Irish nationalism was incompatible with science because of science’s essential internationalism. Ascendancy scientists were, after all, ‘not so much...
7. From De Valera’s Institute to the Big Bang, 1939–1950
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In the Irish Free State there was little public appreciation or understanding of the need to allocate resources for scientific education and research consistent with the state’s finances. Generally, the attitude of politicians reflected public...
8. Between Science and Dogma,1950–mid-1970s
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The early years of Pope Pius XII’s pontificate were characterised by innovative and progressive reforms. Pius had a deep interest in science and technology and endeavoured, more than any of his predecessors, to harmonise Catholic faith...
9. The Elusive Master Narrative, mid-1970s–2006
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The soundness of Genesis had far-reaching implications for both Catholic theology and the Bible. The story of creation is not, and was not, limited to scientific and historical interest. Creation theology is inextricably connected...
10. Science and Social Transformation
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In the early 1960s the institutional church in Ireland was authoritarian and highly centralised, and its stern authority over the laity went virtually unchallenged. It was untroubled by anticlericalism, and dissident intellectuals encountered...
Notes and References
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Publication Year: 2012